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XFINITY

Buescher Keeping His Options Open for 2016

With the XFINITY Series championship in hand, it would be natural to assume @Chris_Buescher has his racing plans locked in for the upcoming season. However, that isn’t the case as both Buescher and team owner Jack Roush have stated nothing is definite yet.

The popular opinion is Buescher will return to defend his championship once again in the XFINITY Series. Following the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, however, Roush said Buescher would race in the Sprint Cup Series in 2016.

“He will be involved in a Cup car to some extent, but whether it’s a part-time program or a full program, we’re still in the midst of finalizing the conditions today,” Roush said. “We’ve got a number of possibilities, but we’re not ready to announce that today.”

Since the finale, Buescher has been made aware that possibilities have developed for the 2016 season, with options in both series.

“I look forward to the possibilities,” Buescher said. “I know in the past week that some things have developed, but I honestly don’t know what. They have told me we have some options, and we’ll talk to you about it after this is over to just try and not distract from the task at hand. We didn’t want to add stress to the weekend, or stress to the banquet.”

Buescher added the plan was to celebrate the championship as well as the Thanksgiving holiday before returning to Roush Fenway Racing where the parties involved will go about nailing down the specifics. In 2015, Buscher did have the chance to run some Cup races behind the wheel of the No. 34 for Front Row Motorsports. His debut at Auto Club Speedway was the site of his best finish, 20th.

Despite having two full seasons of XFINITY Series competition under his belt, including a championship, Buescher says he is not in a rush to move up the ladder. Instead, he’s confident when the time is right the move will be made and he can take advantage of the seat time he’s already been given.

“You’ve got to learn everything you can every race,” said Buescher. “There’s always something different about a racetrack. There’s similarities between the two racecars. Jack was talking about with the rules as close as they are now, there are things that we can bounce back and forth. There’s always something to learn. Every time you get in a race car, you figure out something.

“So I’ve been clear, I’m not in a rush. If it comes around and that’s the first I’ve heard of that, by the way, so it’s kind of like the radio interview where Jack said something four months ago, and I found out from my dad. But you know, if that’s what it brings, then I’ll do my best to prepare for it and be ready, and if not, we’ll go try and double up on these XFINITY championships.”

If Buescher returns to the series in 2016, crew chief Scott Graves looks forward to the possible challenge of repeating as champions.

“Going through this year and understanding how difficult it is, you look at the guys we were competing against, you can’t have a bad day,” Graves said. “You can’t have a DNF, and there’s obviously going to be some really good people coming up in good equipment next year, as well.

“For sure it’s going to be a challenge. I’d love to have the opportunity to go back and try, though.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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By Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.